Defending Nicolas Cage

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The above clip looks awful, and we thought that before we even read Pete Vonder Haar's blog on it. But it also made us sad to watch.

I'm a Nicolas Cage fan from way back, through thick and thin. The goofy voices in Valley Girl and Peggy Sue Got Married, eating cockroaches in Vampire's Kiss, all 94 minutes of Raising Arizona, plus Rumble Fish and that dopey grin. I even like the rom-com crap like Moonstruck, It Could Happen To You, and Trapped In Paradise.

We remember Cage and James Caan in Honeymoon In Vegas with Sarah Jessica Parker, back when she was still massively-attractive, and not the boner-killing shrew from Sex & The City. Is Kim Cattrall made of radioactive waste? That's the only thing I can chalk up to her turning into a cartoon Disney henchwoman.

What about the Cage in Red Rock West and Wild At Heart? That smoldering, weird leading man that you weren't quite sure how to pin down, but he was a joy to watch. Jesus Christ, he brought Guarding Tess a bit of that grit.

The Best Actor Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas was hard-won in a year that had him up against Sean Penn's death row vindication, Anthony Hopkins' Nixon, the dead Postman gent, and Mr. Holland's Richard Dreyfuss.

And then...

The Rock, Con Air, and Face/Off happened to the world, over two summers, in 1996 and 1997 (but we can still watch The Rock if it's on television because we like Ed Harris, VX gas, and gunfights). We can snicker at Con Air now, with Steve Buscemi and John Malkovich slumming hardcore.

The only thing Face/Off has going for it is Dominique Swain with a nose ring, Gina Gershon being Gina Gershon, John Woo's white doves and that dumb-ass church scene. And oh my god, this was arguably the beginning of Cage being batshit insane on film. It was like watching a bootleg Wesley Willis concert where instead of an audience, it's just Michael Bay sitting in Eric Roberts' sex chair from Star 80.

The next 14 years have been a mash of WTF and LOL, with Cage playing an angel, watching snuff films, getting Frosties thrown on him, selling guns with Jordan Catalano, playing a gerbil, rebooting the Bad Lieutenant (but not at all), and hair plugs, hair plugs, hair plugs, wow.

Along the line he redeemed himself bit by bit, with Bringing Out The Dead, Adaptation, Matchstick Men, and World Trade Center. But man, the hair line. Jesus.

If you besmirch the memory of the National Treasure franchise, I will fight you in the street like you just burned down my grandmother's house. The story of the Gates family, Abigail, and the wily Riley Poole is a like a warm blanket on a cold night. All they want to do is right the wrongs of history. What have you ever done? Nothing.

The past decade and a half has been rife with hilarious Cage misfires. These are the best of the worst, the ones we can't stop watching and cringing at, even when there's a Mad Men marathon on, and it's all Joan-centric episodes.

Knowing Haha, the white alien guys were the best. The effects weren't bad either, since we like watching the Earth be destroyed.

Ghost Rider It should be awesome (with Eva Mendes, motorcycles, leather, chains, and flaming skulls involved). But it wasn't.

The Wicker Man Bees! Bees! Bees!

Lord Of War It's fun watching Ethan Hawke be a hard-ass. He's due for a batshit, Cage-like renaissance himself.

Next I didn't understand this movie at all, but I bought it for $5 at Wal-Mart one night.

Bangkok Dangerous Same as above.

Kiss Of Death Cage! Caruso! Calamity.

8MM Movies about snuff films aren't supposed to be funny, but this was like a de-fanged Cruising for the late '90s. This movie looks like it was shot, or at least written, while drinking inside Lola's Depot in Montrose, which is why I can still watch it.

Snake Eyes Cage's clothing is the real atrocity here, not the assassination "plot" or Gary Sinise walking around on two legs.

Amos & Andrew At least it had Samuel L. Jackson, right? Right? No.

And here is Cage screaming in Romania after dinner.

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